IRVINE, Calif. – The Orange County Riptide has agreed to terms with Connor Spencer to become the sixth manager in franchise history, General Manager Moe Geoghegan announced today.
“I am super excited to have Connor managing the OC Riptide next summer,” Geoghegan said. “Connor has lots of experience in the California Collegiate League helping lead two teams to the CCL playoffs the last two summers as assistant coach. He will provide a fun atmosphere for our players to compete in. I am equally excited about the staff he will be putting together.”
Spencer is no stranger to coaching in the CCL.
During the 2022 season, Connor coached the infielders & 3rd Base Coach for the Riptide, helping lead the Riptide to a third place finish in the 2022 CCL post season tournament. Prior to the 2022 season, Spencer ran the offense for the Arroyo Seco Saints in 2021. The Saints made a solid run to the CCL semi-final game but lost to the eventual champions, Healdsburg Prune Packers.
“I’m extremely humbled and excited at the opportunity to manage the Riptide this summer,” Spencer said. “I want to thank the management staff and the organization as a whole for this opportunity. My main objective as a head coach is to send our guys back to their respective schools with more maturity and higher baseball IQs, however, make no mistake, I’m here to win.”
Born and raised in Orange County, Spencer played his high school baseball locally at Tesoro High School. He led the State of California in batting average in 2010 and holds almost every major offensive record at Tesoro. After a successful career in high school, Spencer played in college for legendary coach Mike Gillespie at UC Irvine.
Spencer won the Big West Conference batting title in 2013 and helped the Anteaters reach the 2014 College World Series in Omaha. Spencer earned Most Valuable Player of the Corvallis Regional honors that same year. Spencer’s name is riddled throughout UCI’s record books despite only playing three seasons there. The New York Yankees selected Spencer in the eighth round of the 2014 MLB draft after his third season at UCI.
In Spencer’s first professional season, he won a minor league batting title. Spencer’s .364 average in the New York Penn League made him the first Yankees farm hand in the history of the organization to win one. Over four seasons in the Yankees system, Spencer finished his career batting above .300 with two All-Star appearances.
Spencer chose to walk away from professional baseball after four years. After pro baseball, Spencer worked as a national scouting coordinator for Perfect Game. In his role with PG, Spencer scouted some of the nation’s best high school and college talent. Despite much success in scouting, Spencer knew coaching was his true passion and calling. He broke back onto the field as a coach at Tesoro High School in the spring of 2021 and the Arroyo Seco Saints during the 2021 summer.
“I’m excited to bring on a coaching staff that shares and fully understands the hard nosed, professional culture I’m striving to build for this program,” Spencer added. “This will be my third year in the league and I know first hand how competitive our league is. The CCL continues to improve every year and we fully expect to assemble a squad that will compete day in and day out. See you at the ballpark this summer! Go Tide!”
As the head coach, Spencer plans to bring back a number of the 2022 Riptide assistant coaches that helped get the Riptide to the CCL post season. In addition to those coaches from last summer’s staff, Spencer will name a special assistant coach who has served as a Division 1 Head Coach at two different universities and won a College World Series as both an assistant coach and a national championship as a head coach. That announcement is expected to come later this week.
With the Riptide in 2022, Spencer oversaw the infielders and the offense. Two infielders from the 2022 Riptide squad turned pro (Chase Valentine drafted by the San Diego Padres and Marc “Bubba” Filia signed with the Cleveland Guardians.) Spencer directed a potent offense in 2022 with seven Riptide players batting over .300, belting 10 home runs and stealing 65 bases.
Connor currently serves as Director of Player Development for Cal State Fullerton Titan Baseball.
OC Riptide fans can follow Connor Spencer on multiple social media channels including Twitter (@ccspencer33) and Instagram (@ccspence33).